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How Long Will My Texas Divorce Take?

How Long Does a Texas Divorce Take? Discover the Facts Here

Clients often ask a pressing question during divorce consultations: “How soon can I be divorced?” This question makes sense because it reflects their desire to move forward and start a new chapter.

However, the answer varies significantly and isn’t straightforward, depending on individual circumstances. Several factors, including legal requirements and the specifics of each case, influence the divorce timeline in Texas. This article aims to clarify the process and give a clear understanding of the expected timing.

The Fast Track Divorce

The journey towards a divorce in Texas begins with a crucial step: filing an Original Petition for Divorce with the court. This legal document serves two primary purposes:

  • Notifying the Court: By filing the petition, you inform the court of your intention to divorce, outlining your desires and expectations from the process.
  • Starting the Countdown: Filing the petition also triggers the start of a legally mandated timeline, determining the earliest possible date when your divorce can be finalized.

This process marks the official commencement of your divorce proceedings and sets the stage for the next legal steps.

Understanding the 60-Day Waiting Period

Texas Family Code Section 6.702 establishes a critical time frame: the 60-day waiting period, starting from the day you file your divorce petition. This period serves two significant purposes:

  • Mandatory Wait: The law requires a minimum of 60 days before granting any divorce, ensuring that decisions are not made in haste.
  • Reflection Time: Often called the “cooling off” period, this interval allows both parties to reflect on their decision and consider the implications of ending their marriage.

Understanding this waiting period is crucial as it sets a baseline for the earliest possible conclusion of the divorce process.

The Earliest Divorce Possibility – 61 Days

While the mandatory waiting period establishes a minimum timeframe, certain conditions can enable a swift finalization of a divorce, potentially as early as the 61st day after filing. These conditions require mutual agreement on:

  • The Decision to Divorce: Both parties must agree to the divorce itself.
  • Division of Property and Debts: Parties need to have a clear, uncontested plan for dividing assets and liabilities.
  • Children’s Issues: In cases involving children, both parties must reach an agreement on custody, support, and welfare.

Agreeing on these aspects can speed up the process, allowing for a divorce conclusion soon after the waiting period. However, the process may last significantly longer if disagreements arise.

When Divorces Extend Beyond 61 Days